This music with its refined ornamentation is usually seen as connected to the movement in art and the worship of Greek or Athenian culture. The style can be summarized as charmingly melodic, graceful and pretty. It was the beginning of music that was designed specifically to be entertaining. Polyphonic texture was replaced by simple homophony and repetition of short phrases became the characteristic of the style which was also known as gallant. Homophony (music in which melody and accompaniment are distinct) dominated the Classical style, and new arms of composition were developed to accommodate the transformation.Sonata form is by far the most important of these forms, and one that continued to evolve throughout the Classical period.
Although Baroque composers also wrote pieces called sonatas, the Classical sonata was different, it had four sections; the introduction, the development, the exposition and the coda. The texture of a composition could often change during a piece to a more complex polyphonic texture but most composers chose always to at least start with a homophobic texture to maintain the ices tunefulness.
Classical composers tended to be liberal when it came to rhythmic patterns, unlike baroque music in which a few patterns are repeated creating perpetual motion, classical compositions can feature many changing patterns. As well as this, classical style used syncopation, unexpected pauses and often jumped from long notes to short notes. Also featured, were sudden or gradual changes from patterns of note lengths. The only fairly consistent aspect of classical rhythm was the common time signature which kept the music simple and enjoyable.Melody was an essential and important part of any classical composition.
Differing from the Baroque period, a classical melody was usually tuneful and catchy. They are usually created using two phrases of the same length, with the second phrase starting like the first but ending conclusively. This was done to make the music sound symmetrical and balanced. Also, a classical melody may have a popular or folk flavor and composers may even borrow themes from other popular tunes. Arguably, classical music’s greatest aspects is its ability to manipulate contrasting moods within a composition.While Baroque music conveyed a singular emotion, a classical piece would fluctuate in mood throughout with a variety of emotions. These changes may occur gradually or quite suddenly in surges of emotion with each strikingly different from the last.
Not only did the themes of a piece differ but there may also be contrasting sections of mood within a single theme. However, for a piece to maintain the logic and control that was characteristic to great classical music, it took a master composer like Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.One development of the Classical period is he growth of the public concert. Although the aristocracy continued to play an important role to music, it was now possible for composers to survive without being the employee of one person or family. This also meant that concerts were no longer limited to palaces and parties and composers could have their music heard by many more people. Composers started organizing big concerts featuring their own music and would usually attract large audiences. This increasing popularity of the public concert impacted on the growth of the orchestra.
Although chamber music and solo works were laded in the home or other intimate settings, orchestral concerts were for big public spaces. As a result, symphonic music became more unrestrained. Composers gradually expanded the size of the orchestra to accommodate this growing musical vision. The classical period changed music forever and its contributions to the musical world were great. This is clearly evident from the fact that many classical compositions are still popular, well known and enjoyed in today’s society not just by musicians but also by the general public just as it was so many years ago.
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